Online.net, owned by the Iliad group, is the second largest hoster in the French market. The company had traditionally been focused on the higher end of the dedicated hosting market with services starting at 29.99 euro/month and predominantly based on Dell’s rack mounted servers. About three years ago they began exploring the possibility of providing a lighter weight entry-level offering targeted at SMBs.
Online engaged Dell’s Data Center Solutions (DCS) group and the two teams began brainstorming around system designs to meet the needs of this new segment. The design that DCS came up with was the Via processor-based microserver the Dell X511-VX8, code name“Fortuna” (please note I had nothing to do with the official naming of this product :)). The system handles one OS and app per server, has one 1 CPU per server and features 12 servers per chassis.
Thanks to these ultra cost-efficient systems, Online was able to provide SMB customers with an entry-level offering at half the price of their next lowest product. Not only that but this new offering allowed Online to grab significant share in the French market.
Tres tres cool et tres tres (geek) chic
If you want to see the Dell X511-VX8 in action or take a tour of Online’s datacenter and operations, all set to chill house music, check out the video below. (The rows and rows of X511s appear at the 1:40 mark and go until 2:40. You can also see a quick overview of one of the microservers themselves at the 4:36 mark).
Beyond the Dell X511-VX8
The success that Online had with the X511 gave DCS insight into the potential of the microserver market. Based on the concepts that came from the work with Online.net, DCS created a follow-on offering, code-named “Viking,” for our custom accounts.
This too was a big success, so much so that we will soon be taking this experience even broader as we look to announce our third generation microserver.
- A walk thru of the Dell X511-VX8 server from two years ago — Dell Vlog
- And on the other end of the spectrum — Microservers — Barton’s Blog
- Enter the Viking: Light Weight server for Hosting and Web 2.0 — Barton’s Blog
- VIA Nano finds itself in a curious place: Dell ‘Fortuna’ servers — PC Perspective
Pau for now…